How did you end up joining the #maker movement?
In 2005, I read about a new magazine called „Make" and immediately subscribed to it. I had just been fascinated by a lot of electronics projects I saw on the internet. In the following years, I started to blog about DIY electronics, offered Arduino courses and founded a makerspace with a few friends. This landed me a job as an editor with the German edition of Make Magazine which has expanded to curation of the Maker Faires in Berlin and Hannover by now.
What do you most value in the innovation/maker environment?
I love how the concepts of sharing and information flow that the internet has brought are, in the end, applied to creative, manual work. It’s great how you can get inspiration from a project you see on the net or in a magazine (or on the next table at a Fablab), do your own version of it and, in turn, inspire others.
What’s the maker movement outlook in your country?
The term „maker“ slowly enters the language, although reluctantly, as any foreign word. The concept itself is very easy to grasp: Hobbyists and tinkerers in Germany have always been working on their projects, no matter if it was a trend or not. It’s great that a growing number of people learn how to use new and old tools to express themselves.
In your opinion, what features in your city/destination/country is more appealing to an innovation-oriented crowd?
I think Germany has always been a country with a lot of inventors and engineers, and e.g. Berlin is filled with start-ups working on new ideas and products. I especially like that you don’t have to be a complete expert any more to participate. The maker movement definitely has made it easier to get involved.
You seem to have been able to create such a nurturing environment around your FabLab/makerspace/hackerspace in (your country). What does your audience look like? Who do you mainly target – students, inventors, or… ?
Our crowd is very diverse, there is the younger group of new makers, a lot of them students, but there are people from every background and age joining every day. Our Maker Faires attract visitors from toddlers to seniors, and every gender. I’m especially proud if people rediscover their hobbies. Coming to a Maker Faire, they are often reminded why they got into a creative or technical career in the first place and that they want to get their hands dirty again.
What do you consider your greatest goal as EMW’s Ambassador?
I hope that I can encourage spaces beyond the „usual suspects“ like FabLabs to take part in EMW. There is a lot of interest in the Maker movement from schools and other educational institutions and I think they are, by definition, the perfect places to spread knowledge.
What kind of events are you planning to organize during the EMW?
We are participating with Maker Faire Hannover, the biggest Faire in Germany and we will use that platform to kick off EMW here. I’m in close contact with the whole scene to set up new events for EMW or to boost their regular events happening during the week by becoming a part of EMW.